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Folks that rock

chandigarh Updated: Dec 05, 2013 09:16 IST
Usmeet Kaur
Usmeet Kaur
Hindustan Times
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They come all the way from Bangalore and bring with them the super-cool concept of performing on top of a bus. Yes, you read that right. As a part of a multi-city tour bus gig, Bangalore-based folk rock band Swarathma regaled their young audiences at DAV College, Sector 10, on Wednesday.

Swarathama regales youngsters in the city. HT Photo

Comprising of five members — Vasu Dixit (lyricist and lead vocalist), Pavan Kumar KJ (percussion and vocals), Varun Murali (lead guitar), Sanjeev Nayak (violin) and Jishnu Dasgupta (bass guitar and vocals) — Swarathma is best known for their stint on Dewarists (season 1), where they collaborated with none other than Shubha Mudgal. About their experience on the show, they say, "Music platforms like these not only give artistes a chance to create music together, they also help us open our hearts to each other’s art. If a person of Shubha Mudgal’s stature tells us ‘come, let’s make music together’, what else can one feel but sheer exhilaration? Such collaborations help artistes learn where to draw the line, besides, of course, learning the humility to work with such a senior artiste. We personally learnt to create a balance between agreeing with the artiste and inculcating our signature style to the song. It’s all about creating good music!"

Formed in 2002, Swarathma has shared the stage with noted names of the industry — Usha Uthup, Sunidhi Chauhan and Rabbi Shergill, to name a few. Their first album, Swarathma, came out in 2009, followed by Topiwalleh in 2012. A firm believer in creating originals, thanks to the positive feedback they’ve received from their fans so far, the band members feel rehashing an original takes more out of an artiste than creating something from scratch. “Original compositions are so much easier than remixing old songs. I can make an original track in one day, but would need at least a week to replicate an old song,” says Dixit. Members of the band, in Chandigarh on Wednesday. HT Photo

About Bollywood music ruling Indians’ hearts, Dixit says, “Yes, in India, Bollywood dominates the music scene, but, there are two ways of looking at it – either you keep cribbing about Bollywood not helping independent musicians get established or you accept that Indian cinema has complete 100 years and is bound to have a larger impact than the newly-established band culture. It’s best to go with the flow and run parallel with Bollywood.”

On second thoughts Dixit adds, “Band culture as such is not an Indian concept. It took birth in the West. Thus, it is important for Indian bands to stay true to their roots. Most importantly, bands should not try to fool the audience by flaunting a ‘cool’ accent. Music has a power and energy that travels through every individual differently. Let that be transcended to your audience.”